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For my essay I am going to compare the signalman and lamb to the slaughter. I am going to look at the differences and the similarities in these two short stories.

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Introduction

Lamb To The Slaughter And The Signalman For my essay I am going to compare the signalman and lamb to the slaughter. I am going to look at the differences and the similarities in these two short stories. Lamb to the slaughter starts with a warm setting in the Maloney household. Unlike the signalman which starts off with tension and mystery. The importance of mystery is very important in this story, as there are many parts of the story that contain mystery. E.g. the man at the bottom of the cutting. The signalman is a horror story contrasting lamb to the slaughter, which is a murder story. There are many different words that are different in the story. Both writers use different words to describe what the setting is like. Dahl uses warm, clean, fresh, smiling, soft, blissful, rested, and silent but Dickens used stronger words like anger, violent pulsation, rapid and clammy. These words by dickens give out a stronger atmosphere. Mrs Maloney is the wife of a policeman named Patrick Maloney. Lamb to the slaughter starts with 'the room was warm and clean.' This tell the reader that the room is clean and looked after by the person in the room. ...read more.

Middle

The setting doesn't effect how the person dies but it does help with the suspense. The theme to lamb to the slaughter is a violent death. But with the signalman it is a tragic death. With lamb to the slaughter there is a type of comic theme because the way Mary Maloney covers it all up and then she makes the policemen eat the murder weapon. It shows you that if your clever enough you can get away with murder. You ask yourself if the signalman is paranoid but then again he is reliable. You could also say he was kid of a friend to the man who called him. You can question is Mary Maloney is impetuous. She might be because she never though about what could've happened if the police found out what she had done. You wonder if she has a dark side to her. Maybe she was angry of being left alone in a home all alone all day, waiting for someone to look after when she could have her own life. Thing anger could have built over a period of time and then she would have lashed out on her husband. I believe that she does not have a dark side but she did the killing on the spare of the moment. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both of the stories leave open questions to what could or could've happened. I think that Lamb to the Slaughter is better than the signalman as it makes you think more. It makes you want to keep guessing what he told his wife. And whether she was going to get away with it. In the end she does and I find it rather surprising to find her laugh as she has just lost her husband. Both writers have a different approach to their stories. Dahl is a more modern writer as he wrote stories in the mid 19's. His stories are designed to be shown on TV and his written style is more efficient than Dickens. Basically he does not have a lot of descriptive bits as he lets the reader make up his own mind and add their own bits. You would think that he would assume that his readers were familiar with a typical suburban home because they have access to TV and video as well as well as cinema and would have been examples of typical homes dozen of times. It is this background to his story, the time in which it was written, that helps you explain some of the differences between his and Dickens. Dahl wrote his story in which a way he know would appeal to his audience in 1979 just as dickens would've in the 19th century. ...read more.

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